'Let's figure this out': Elizabeth Warren's calls to supporters delight the internet

Luke O'Neil

Elizabeth Warren supporters who notice a strange phone call coming in from a 617 area code may want to pick up the phone for a change, as the Massachusetts senator has been calling donors to her campaign out of the blue this week.

While it’s not unheard of for politicians to call supporters while campaigning, usually asking for more money, in this case Warren is calling to talk about the issues.

“For most candidates, ‘call time’ means calling wealthy donors and asking for money,” she wrote on Instagram. “Not me. I’m spending ‘call time’ thanking small-dollar, grassroots donors who give what they can. Chip in what you can, and you might get a call from me to say thank you.”

The phone calls are something Warren has been doing for months now, but based on a slew of excited social media reactions, they seem to have picked up steam this week.

For some people, it takes a little convincing that it’s actually Warren, such as with one recent call to a supporter named Logan from Virginia, which Warren posted to her Twitter page. Warren asked him what the issue was that “gets you up early and keeps you up late” before engaging in a discussion about student loan debt.

The effort harkens back to her pledge to eschew phone calls and meetings with big-money donors.

“For every time you see a presidential candidate talking with voters at a town hall, rally, or local diner, those same candidates are spending three or four or five times as long with wealthy donors – on the phone, or in conference rooms at hedge fund offices, or at fancy receptions and intimate dinners – all behind closed doors,” Warren wrote in an email to supporters back in February. “When I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation.”

The calls, one part authentic focus on issues that affect Americans, and one part savvy meme-making, got a boost last week when Warren jokingly responded to the comedian Ashley Nicole Black saying she had a plan to help her fix her love life, as noted by Vox.

Since then others who have been on the receiving end of a call from Warren have been similarly enthusiastic.

This being the internet, the calls have begun to take on a humorous life of their own, with some riffing on the concept to humorous effect.

Others are disappointed they haven’t gotten a call yet themselves.

Overall, the message behind the calls seems to be working. Warren wants to let voters know she’s listening, something all too rare in politics today.